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New guidelines published to make policing more transparent

Derbyshire Police & Crime Commissioner Alan Charles has published new guidelines to protect the integrity of his new office and promote a culture of honesty and openness.

Two new policy documents have been drawn up which set out the organisation’s ‘zero tolerance’ approach to corruption and the steps it will take to ensure the public receives an open and transparent service.

The Anti-Fraud and Corruption Policy pledges to actively encourage the prevention and detection of misconduct whether from inside the local policing body or externally. Evidence shows the most effective way of preventing fraud and corruption internally is to take effective steps at the recruitment stage and as such the policy pledges to ensure all staff are fully vetted in terms of their previous employment history before being offered employment.

As part of a framework to deter impropriety, the Commissioner, his deputy and any office staff are required to declare in a public register any offers of gifts or hospitality which are in any way related to their work in relation to policing. This register will be held by the Chief Executive and made available to the public on request to ensure accountability.

The guidance also encourages staff to raise any concerns they have about the organisation’s policies or procedures including anything they believe to be unlawful, against its code of conduct, below standards or practices or amounts to improper conduct, and places responsibility on the Chief Executive to investigate such allegations. 

In support of this, Commissioner Charles has also published separate guidance in the form of the Public Interest Disclosure (whistle-blowing policy). This document is designed to allow staff in the Commissioner’s office to raise at a high level any concerns or information which they believe in good faith provides evidence of misconduct.

The policy states that such members of staff must feel able to disclose the information appropriately without fear of reprisal and sets out the procedures for dealing with such incidents.

Commissioner Charles said: “The public has heard much talk of accountability since the proposals for PCCs were first discussed. These policies, I hope, address some of their questions as to what accountability really means to them.

“In short, we are building an organisation which places honesty, openness and integrity at the heart of everything it does, from our decision-making and the way we run our day-to-day business to the people we hire and the way we spend public funds.

“To have any faith in our ability to protect our communities and make the county safer, the public firstly needs to have confidence and trust in us and this is only possible by enforcing strict standards of conduct and encouraging all employees to lead by example.”

The full policies are available on this website.

Ends

Media Enquires: Sallie Blair – 01283 821012 / 07702 541401

Posted on Tuesday 19th March 2013
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